Charter Communications said late Wednesday that long-time president and chief operating officer John Bickham will retire at the end of 2022. In addition, the company said chief product and technology officer Rich DiGeronimo and chief financial officer Christopher Winfrey will expand their duties.
Bickham is a 35-year veteran of the cable industry, joining Charter in 2012 from Cablevision Systems (now Altice USA) where he worked with current Charter chairman and CEO Tom Rutledge. Rutledge had been CEO of Cablevision and was named Charter CEO in December 2011. The two had also been colleagues at Time Warner Cable.
“It has been a privilege to work alongside John for nearly 30 of his 35 years in the cable industry,” Rutledge said in a press release. “He is widely regarded as one of the best operators in cable and has been instrumental in the successful integration of our three companies, and subsequent trajectory as the fastest growing cable company in the nation. I am grateful that he will remain as President & COO to provide continued leadership and support throughout this transition.”
Bickham will continue to oversee the field operations, customer operations, network operations, and financial planning and analysis (FP&A) and business planning teams, led by EVP field operations Tom Adams; EVP customer operations Cliff Hagan; EVP network operations Magesh Srinivasan; and EVP FP&A and business planning Jim Nuzzo.
Charter said that effective immediately, DiGeronimo will add oversight of Charter’s ad sales business -- Spectrum Reach – headed by EVP David Kline – to his current responsibilities of leading the company’s product and technology unit. DiGeronimo will report directly to Rutledge.
Winfrey will assume operational leadership for sales and marketing, and Spectrum Community Solutions overseen by EVP and chief marketing officer Jon Hargis and EVP of Spectrum Community Solutions Adam Ray. Winfrey will report to Bickham on operations and to Rutledge as CFO. He also will retain responsibility for Spectrum Enterprise led by EVP Bill Archer.
“We have developed a sound operating strategy and an outstanding leadership team at Charter,” Rutledge said. “Chris’s influence on our operations has expanded beyond traditional finance areas, and I look forward to seeing the impact of his leadership more formally within our cable operations. Under Rich’s guidance, the technology team has shaped the customer experience through our leading products and services, and it is that innovation and collaborative spirit that will benefit Spectrum Reach as it helps businesses reach their audiences in new ways.”
David Ellen, senior EVP; Catherine Bohigian, EVP, government affairs; and Rick Dykhouse, EVP, general counsel and corporate secretary, will continue to report to Rutledge.
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Mike Farrell is senior content producer, finance for Multichannel News/B+C, covering finance, operations and M&A at cable operators and networks across the industry. He joined Multichannel News in September 1998 and has written about major deals and top players in the business ever since. He also writes the On The Money blog, offering deeper dives into a wide variety of topics including, retransmission consent, regional sports networks,and streaming video. In 2015 he won the Jesse H. Neal Award for Best Profile, an in-depth look at the Syfy Network’s Sharknado franchise and its impact on the industry.
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